A reader known as "Pat@firstname.lastname@example.org" recently wrote in with some good info on an old WU topic:
" I have been a fan of Buckminster Fuller's writings for many years and just recently found out that he actually didn't invent the geodesic dome. It was invented by Walther Bauersfeld, a German engineer, some 30 years earlier for use as the first projection planetarium. Fuller did, however, apply for and was granted the U.S. patents. He took it's design and construction further and is credited with popularizing it. We have one in Fairbanks built in 1966 at a site originally called "Alaskaland" which was built to commemorate the centenial of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. It's called the Gold Dome and now houses an aviation museum. Also, there were many "golf balls" in the state during the Cold War which were used for radar."
What's less than four feet wide, thirty-feet tall and thirty-three feet deep? And has a ladder entrance ten feet off the ground?
This 3D visualization gives you an idea what can be done when an old building and a newer building leave four feet between them. It's meant as a statement about the war destruction in Poland and the rebuilding being connected. The Keret home is named for the writer who will be living there.
He moves in Saturday, and says the narrow house is a "a kind of a memorial to my family," says Etgar Keret, whose mother's and father's families died in the Holocaust. His paternal grandfather died in Warsaw's uprising against the Nazis in 1944.
Here's the link for the whole story and more pictures.
In 1954, 23-year-old Jack Fletcher showed off his new home to the media. Reporters called it the "house of the future" because of all the unique features he had designed into it. The windows closed by themselves when sensors felt rain. Lights came on automatically when someone entered a room. The phone had a speed-dial feature. The lamps didn't need cords. Instead you just placed them over induction coils installed in the floor. And strangest of all, electromagnets caused pots and pans to float over the stove (which also used induction coils to heat the food).
The house was in West Covina, CA (in the LA area). I wonder if it's still standing? I don't see why it wouldn't be, but I haven't been able to find an address for it. Read more about it here and here.
Until I saw the title of this book by Ben Critton, it hadn't occurred to me that villains do often live in modernist homes in movies. Why is that? The book isn't available on Amazon, so if you want the answer (or, at least, Critton's answer), you'll have to get the book from Printed Matter, Inc.
The book blurb:
Printed in a tabloid format in red and yellow ink Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films offers a serious but lighthearted investigation of the representation of Modernist architecture in popular film, reflecting on the convention of associating evil characters and events with Modern buildings, and also, more generally, on the relation between cinema and architecture. A series of texts point to examples in the James Bond films, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, and many others, accompanied by plentiful film stills.
Residents of the English town of Castleford in Yorkshire were probably delighted to hear that UK TV station Channel 4 was to film a documentary of the ongoing urban regeneration scheme, up until their local council decided to rename a local landmark ahead of filming. The popular local landmark had been known as “Tickle Cock Bridge” since Victorian times - probably due to its popularity as a trysting place according to one local historian – but prudish council members decided to put up signs for the more polite “Tittle Cott Bridge” for the cameras. However local objections have been so vocal that the officials have been forced to back down and restore the feature’s original “rude” name (Metro).
And if you fancy taking a trip to Tickle Cock Bridge, why not make a grand tour of it and take in some more of Britain’s rudest place names (Telegraph).
It’s always worth making sure you have plenty of the local currency on holiday, but for one German tourist this became more of a life-saver than a simple convenience. Dominik Podolsky was just riding the ski-lift back down in Hochzillertal in Austria as darkness fell when it was suddenly switched off, as it is every dusk, leaving him stranded. As temperatures dropped to minus 18° Celcius (0° F) Mr. Podolsky began to set light to whatever was to hand to attract attention, starting with paper napkins and some business cards before in desperation he was forced to set fire to his money. He had just burned his last euro when he was finally spotted by a cleaning crew and rescued (Orange).
Perhaps he would have done better to visit the Swiss side of the Alps instead. If not on the mountains, at the very least he would have been better looked after in that country's brothels. Principally because, with an increasing number of elderly clients packing a well-known anti-impotence treatment, Swiss brothels are training their staff in the use of defibrillators in an effort to stop the pill-popping pensioners become clog-popping corpses. "Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity" said one sex-club owner. Funny, I would have thought the opposite was true (Telegraph).
But trained as they may be, Swiss working girls will never have the edge on their American competitors. At least that’d be the conclusion you might draw from the results of a recent poll which placed America at number one on the list of countries with the most attractive people (Switzerland didn’t even make the top 20). So rejoice America, from the wild and wanton women of Walmart to the sultry street-girl sirens of Chattanooga, your beauty is unsurpassed (Herald Sun).
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.